The best rank checking tools help you to check keyword rankings locally and internationally, and help increase traffic to your websites.
The ability to rank your website keywords on Google and other search engines is an essential part of SEO. When working with a small number of keywords it’s possible to do this simply with a manual search. However, with the rise of the ever-increasing use of personalized data and customization of results, along with the rise of local searches, manual checks these days are simply no longer reliable. With keyword ranking tools always essential for these larger keyword lists, nowadays it's become just as important for smaller ones as well.
Google continues to dominate search for both North America and Europe, which means most people will want to check their Google Rankings specifically, as opposed to other search engines such as Bing. However, realize that because Google serves results based on geolocation, this means it's important to track this data on the right Google search engine.
Furthermore, with the rise of Baidu and Yandex as major search engines for China and Russia respectively, an international business needs a rank checking tool for the ability to select a preferred search engine or region.
The best rank checking tools don't simply show just your ranking positions, but also show additional information. This can cover changes across time, filters by difference in change, keyword volume, and even so far as whether you have featured snippets or sitelinks for any of your keyword rankings.
In summary, the best rank checking tools won't stop at just your keyword positions, but also provide additional options, data ranges, and filters, so you can more easily determine which keywords, and therefore to target the areas of your website that will benefit the most from improvements.
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The best rank checking tools of 2023 in full:
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SEMrush offers a full-suite SEO platform. It covers a wide range of toolkits, such as for competitor research, keyword research, link building, on page SEO, as well as a comprehensive rank checking tool with a list of advanced features.
Multiple keyword lists can be created to track rankings on different Google search geolocations, and Baidu. This translates to you can track either a single or multiple websites across just one or multiple territories, which is handy when managing different clients who may have markets either in specific countries or worldwide.
The ranking information provided doesn't just include positions and historical data, but also incorporates symbols to communicate if your listing is a featured snippet, includes sitelinks, and whether the results feature images, reviews, knowledge panel results, as well as Google Ads on top or bottom of the results.
Listings for keywords being tracked also include estimated search volumes which allows you to gauge traffic and estimate changes to this as your keyword ranking changes. Various date filters can also track changes over time, with another filter for sorting keywords according to the biggest gains or falls, allowing you to better manage your keyword targeting.
Overall, SEMrush provides a superb rank checker that allows you to track and manage your keywords in a comprehensive way.
The bottom tier Pro plan starts at around $120 / £108 / AU$180 per month, although you can try it out for free.
Read our full SEMrush review.
Ahrefs is laser focused on link building, but also manages to have a rank checker as well on the platform in order to ensure that you know which keywords and pages to build links for in order to help improve those rankings.
The result of this is that the rank checker includes position, traffic estimates, and listings features you might have such as sitelinks and featured listing. There's also opportunity for checking individual keyword progress over time, along with a value for keyword difficulty.
The last part is totally at the heart of the Ahrefs ranking checker, in that it doesn't just seek to show what rankings you have, but encourages you to more aggressively claim even more. This is underlined not only in the keyword difficulty score, but also by a chart. This ends up displaying both your current positions, plus additional space in the ranking results that you can aim to compete more effectively for.
As with SEMrush, you can perform analysis of competitor SEO, keywords, and rankings, but Ahrefs makes it more of the regular routine of your campaign management.
This all contributes to making the Ahrefs rank checker a more ideal tool for those looking to more aggressively target keyword rankings, rather than simply observe current positions, as part of a general SEO and marketing strategy.
The pricing starts with the Lite plan at around $100 / £80 / AU$150 per month.
Read our full Ahrefs review.
Moz is yet another established SEO platform offering a range of different toolkits such as site audits, keyword research, backlink analysis, and not so surprisingly, a rank checker.
The rank checker by itself, like the others featured here, offers a graphical user interface that will be recognizable to anyone who uses Google Analytics. This familiarity makes it easy to use, and like the others here it shows data according to ranking tables or charts to show movement over time, as well as general summaries of changes.
By itself it covers all the essential info, but doesn't really go above and beyond the basics, making it one of the simpler but best rank checkers for general use. In that regard, some users will find that it just does exactly what they need without getting overly complicated, while others may find it a little limiting by comparison to SEMrush and Ahrefs.
What Moz does, though, is pack a secret punch by offering stats tracking from STAT. This is a far more detailed and advanced rank checker, which allows for tracking of millions of keywords, as well as changes through the day and by geolocations.
STAT itself is a very advanced tool that offers something extra, but most users will probably find it offers more than they need and that the Moz Pro rank checker is all that they require. However, the option for STAT is there should they want to use it.
Read our full Moz Pro review.
Serpstat started as a keyword research tool in 2013, and subsequently grew into an all-in-one SEO platform a few years later. While it is not the powerful tool with the most features, it compensates for this with its affordable price tag. The formula must be working as it counts in its client list Samsung, Uber, and Shopify.
The feature list includes over 30 tools for SEO and PPC professionals. These include batch analysis of keywords and domains (up to 100,000 key keywords at once), a rank tracking tool, a site audit tool and text analytics. Synthesizing so much data can be accomplished via custom reports. Popular keywords, by the region can be exported, and then ads based off of these can be tied in.
Users can subscribe to Serpstat via a choice of four tiers of subscriptions, paying monthly - or annually at a discount, and the option of a fifth custom plan for even more flexibility. The pricing starts for the lowest tier, the Lite plan at $69/month paid monthly, with the option of paying annually at a discount.
Read our full Serpstat review.
ProRankTracker is a tool developed just for the job of tracking and analyzing keyword rankings, and then allowing users to sift through the data for insights. As well as the rank checking tools, it's as much as an analytics and reporting platform, too.
The tracking feature allows you to track rankings, with automated daily updates, as well as to cater to on demand requests, so you can check your rankings as needed. International tracking also gets support across various search engines, including results for both desktop and mobile where different, along with local tracking options.
ProRankTracker's analytics section allows you to take a deep dive into your rankings, not just for your targeted keywords, but also for other keyword searches that you're coming up in. This is a great little function to help you take better control of your targeting and positioning, such as by building on an existing strong page for your call to action.
As well as various reporting filters and options, there's also the ability to set up notifications in case of significant ranking changes you may need to know about. Additionally, reports are white-labeled so an SEO or SEO agency can share reporting data with clients, exporting them as XLSX, PDF, or CSV, or alternatively simply copying them to a cloud service such as Dropbox or Drive accounts.
Overall, while ProRankTracker isn't quite on the same level as more comprehensive SEO toolkits, it does stay focused very well on all aspects of keyword rankings and analysis that most users and clients will need to know.
Read our full ProRankTracker review.
Advanced Web Ranking is a dedicated ranking tool that stays firmly fixated on that one task, rather than being bundled as part of a SEO software platform. The positive of this is that it can cover pretty much everything you need a ranking checker to do, but the negative is that this makes it less useful for additional SEO needs such as for keyword research.
What it does do, though, it does well, and even better is that it's an easy to use platform that is intuitive to use. While there are a lot of different options and features available, users aren't likely to feel overwhelmed as the basic defaults are pretty standard for most needs. Those with more have the option to change and develop them as required.
Advanced Web Ranking provides all the essentials you would expect in a keyword ranking checker, such as automated and on-demand updates, mobile and local options, as well as different SERP features tracked. Additionally, there are no limits on the number of ranking projects, which is welcome.
There are a number of reporting templates and quick reporting options available. However, there are also custom reporting options which means your data and layout is fully customizable, using a straight-forward WYSIWYG editor, making it easy to format for clients. There are easy sharing options as well as integrations with third-party reporting tools as required.
Another feature is the ability to do a competitor analysis, by tracking how competing websites perform and how the websites you are tracking do so by comparison. You can then aggregate performance metrics and perform longer term SERP analysis for a wider context.
Altogether, Advanced Web Ranking is a very accessible and competent rank checking tool that not only covers all of the important bases but also makes it easy to generate reports. The only negative is the lack of accompanying tools to work alongside it.
Read our full Advanced Web Ranking review.
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Which rank checking tool is best for you?
When deciding which rank checking tool to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes cheaper software may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, higher-end software usually come with with a comprehensive range of additionally useful SEO tools, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require from your rank checking tool.
How we tested the best rank checking tools
To test for the best rank checking tools we first set up an account with the relevant provider, then we tested the service to see how well it could track rankings across a range of search engines, geolocations, and other important criteria. The aim was to push each platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools for general rank checking purposes.
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